Moving to Sweden?
Sweden: Visas and Expat Registration
Swedish Work Permits
Expatriates from non-EU/EEA countries who come to Sweden for employment need to obtain a work permit first. The work permit has to be placed in your passport before your arrival in Sweden. You can submit your application to your nearest embassy or consulate, however, this adds about a month onto the processing time. Thus, it is advisable to submit your application online to the Swedish Migration Agency. Due to the current refugee situation, even if your application is submitted online, there is still a predicted 2-5 month waiting time. While your work permit application is being processed, you are not allowed to travel to Sweden.
The Application Process
The work permit application process begins when you receive an offer of employment. Your employer has to send your contract to the responsible trade union. Once the trade union has approved your salary and working conditions, you can apply for a work permit at the Swedish Migration Agency or at the nearest Swedish consulate or embassy.
Please remember that, if you plan on moving to Sweden with your family in tow, your partner and your children will require a residence and/or work permit as well. So make sure to apply for these too.
For further questions and information on visa and work permit matters, make sure to contact your nearest embassy or consulate or get in touch with the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket).
Everybody getting ready to apply for a work permit has to submit the following documents:
- An application form
- A valid passport and a copy of the picture page
- An offer of employment (Anställingserbjudande)
- Application fee (for a standard work permit this is 2000 SEK)
Your family members all have to apply for their own permits. They have to submit the following documents:
- a valid passport and a copy of the picture page
- an application form
- two passport-style photos
- a copy of your marriage certificate (or equivalent) or a document proving that you have lived together in your country of origin as common-law spouses
- birth certificates of your children
- a certificate proving that your children over 21 can finance their stay in Sweden
All documents should be translated into either English or Swedish. Just like your work permit, your family members’ residence permits must be entered into the passport before moving to Sweden. If you are granted a permit and need an entry visa for your residence permit card, you and your family need to visit the Swedish embassy or consulate-general as soon as possible to be photographed and have your fingerprints taken. Remember to contact them before your visit.
Written Offer of Employment
A written offer of employment is essential for a successful visa application. You should receive a written offer of employment from the company you are about to work with in Sweden. This is important for the application process and will qualify you for a Swedish work permit.
The written offer of employment is in fact an official document which describes the details of your employment at length. It must include information on your salary, insurance and the duration of your work contract. Your future employer must obtain the offer of employment form from the Swedish Migration Board.
Nationals of EU/EEA member states are free to live and work in Sweden without obtaining a residence or work permit first. This makes Sweden quite easy for EU/EEA citizens. However, they still have to contact the Swedish Migration Board to register their residency within three months of arriving in Sweden.
You have the option to register in person at one of the offices of the Swedish Migration Board or submit your registration documents via mail or online. If you commute to your workplace in Sweden and return back home at least once per week, you do not need to register. The same applies to Nordic citizens who can live and work freely in Sweden. Remember to enclose a certificate of employment with your registration documents.
Once you arrive in Sweden, it is also important to register with the Swedish Tax Agency (folkbokförd) in order to be officially listed as a resident of Sweden and to be able to pay taxes. After moving to Sweden, you will discover that your personal identity number will be required in many official, as well as everyday, situations so you should try to register as soon as possible upon arrival. You will receive a personal identity number and be eligible for a Swedish identity card. You must also keep the Tax Agency informed if you move within Sweden, marry or divorce, or move away from Sweden. For further information along with the locations of the Tax Agency offices visit their website.
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